12 Comments

Summary:

Sprint has been dropping subscribers at an alarming clip, so have instituted a new loyalty program to stem the tide. It takes as little as three months loyalty to qualify, which is sad. Members in the Sprint Premier program can get a new phone each year.

palm-pre-landscape

Sprint is the Rodney Dangerfield of U.S. carriers; no matter what it does, it never seems to get any respect. Even though the carrier has recently been upping its game with better smartphones, including the HTC Hero running Android and the Palm Pre and Pixi, that hasn’t stopped the defection of its installed subscriber base (LINK). So what’s a carrier like Sprint got to do to regain respect? Start the Sprint Premier program for its most loyal customers — which includes the promise of a new phone every year.

I’ve been a Sprint customer for less than a year, as I joined up when the Palm Pre was launched. I still have the Pre with the appropriate data plan, and according to the flyer I just received about the Sprint Premier program, I now qualify as a loyal customer, which the company defines as the following:

  • You’ve been our customer for six months and maintained a monthly base plan of $69.99 for a single line or $99.99 for shared plans for at least three months.

– or –

  • You’ve been our wireless customer for at least ten years.

The Sprint Premier program embers are eligible for, among other things, a phone upgrade every year instead of the standard two years. Sprint will even waive the $18 activation fee. This is a pretty decent benefit, especially for those of us who change phones as often as socks.

Let’s hope that Sprint can get some good loyalty going with this new program. I’m quite happy with the network performance, especially the 3G network. Though I can’t comment as to how good Sprint customer support is these days, as so far I haven’t had a reason to complain about anything.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Why Carriers Should Care About Customer Care

  1. For the record, this has been the case for over a year now.

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  2. Far as I know, this has been possible for a long time. After a year I get $75 toward a new phone. After two years it’s $150 toward the new phone.

    Are you talking about something else? I’ve been a Sprint customer for about 8.5 years, with six phones and haven’t heard about any changes. I’ve also never been invited to join a “Premier” program. (Dan Hesse, are you listening?)

    I love my 6-month-old Pre, and don’t really have any reason to switch. But we got an HTC Hero about a month ago and it’s really nice. I might have to trade in the Pre for the Hero, or similar, when Sprint upgrades to Android 2.

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    1. Yes Robert with the “Premier” program you can get that $150 after the first year. So every year you can get a new phone. Its a great program but i’ve been with Sprint for many years and in July of 09 i became a “Premier” member after i called and asked.

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      1. Thanks. I will call and ask about it.

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  3. I switched to Sprint from AT&T in December. I never want to go back. And with Sprint’s continued subscriber exodus, we’ll never have to worry about an overloaded network. Just keep making world phones and I’ll stay forever.

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  4. Not really a new program, since I’ve been a premier member for many years. I think they changed some of the eligibility (for example requiring 10 years). To Robert: premier membership gives you $150 off every year with a 2 year extension, compared to $75 after one year.

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  5. All I know is what Sprint sent me. It claims I am now a member of the “new” Sprint Premier program.

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  6. Sprint needs to upgrade their phones on their lines. The Diamond doesn’t even have a successor yet. Everyone has moved on to Snapdragons and Sprint does not have a phone to compete with those. The highly anticipated Supersonic rumors are gone as fast as the leaks hit the web. Some people does not even want to wait for the unknown. 1 major reason for a carrier switch is the phone itself. Verizon lost a lot of customers to iPhone. A lot in our WM community want to go to T-MO for the HD2. People still stick to AT&T aside from their outrageous plans. But they have the largest selection of handhelds. Sprint has the cheapest plans. A lot of people pays 30 bucks for 500 mins,unlimited Data,SMS,MMS nights and weeksends, 6pm onwards. So why they still leave? It’s the PHONE!

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  7. I’m very f***ing annoyed with Sprint at the moment.

    First, I have to ASK to be a Sprint Premier customer and get back the answer that I’ll qualify on Feb 4, 2011… but my MRCs have been over $70 a month for the last THREE TO FIVE YEARS.

    So, another email to Sprint to ask “WTF?”

    Sprint has also had an “Ambassador” program for VIPs, but I don’t know what’s up with that. I suspect either “J” or “K” might be on that goodie list.

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    1. Nope, not affiliated with any ambassador program with Sprint.

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    2. Sprint has clarified, I need to have a “plan” over $70 a month. So, even tho’ I’ve had a $35/month voice plan + a $40 month Phone-as-Modem plan, the fact that that’s $75 over 3 to 5 years doesn’t seem to count for anything…

      Since it’s not one “plan” and since I didn’t downsize to one “plan,” I’m not eligible.

      Yes, I’ll be taking my data dollars to Verizon on a pay-per-use basis, so thanks for nothing Sprint…

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  8. As everyone probably knows sprint has decided to change the premier program as we know it. They are telling us that, in order to get the yearly upgrade that we all enjoyed (the only valuable benefit in the premier program), we either have to have been customers for at least ten years, or have a plan far rate of 89.99 for single plans or 169.99 base rate for family plans. Now that leaves out the majority of us that have the everything data 1500 minute family plan, no matter how many added lines, premium data fees, our hotspot fees we ps3 extra. If this affects you or someone you know please go to this website and join: http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/campaign-0-1921. By joining this website we join together in telling sprint that we will not allow them continue to take benefits that we consider valuable. Together, we can do this.

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